Dolphins ready to part with Ndamukong Suh, cap purge coming?
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins made a huge splash a few years back when they paid top defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh like a quarterback. Now they may be ready to eat the salary and say good-bye.
According to a report from Jason La Canfora of CBS sports, Stephen Ross has seen enough and following the 2017 season, Suh will be gone. His salary won’t be.
This is where it is hard to fathom the Dolphins getting rid of Suh. In 2018 his salary cap hit would be $22 million with a cap savings of $3 million. There isn’t much relief in 2019 either when the contract would save $15 million while the team ate $13 million. Miami would have to wait until 2020 before they saw any real cap savings. Unless.
Unless is a big word but in this case, if the report is even remotely close to being true, the Dolphins could be heading for salary cap purge. If they opted to release Suh in 2018, the team would eat his salary in one season and then be pretty much clear of it in the future. Miami is going to pay Suh $26 million in 2018 so eating $22 million may be an easy way out of the deal. If they designate him a post-June 1st release they will create more immediate cap savings in 2018 but will defer around $13 million to 2019.
At first thought one would say there is no way Miami can let go of one of their best players but then reality steps in and you realize that the Dolphins front is good with Suh but it is far from great like Miami expected. Suh has relatively towed the line in Miami unlike his time in Detroit, he hasn’t seen a lot of controversial flags or events. Of course on Thursday the choke push of Ryan Mallett came close.
La Canfora points out that the Dolphins signing of Suh pre-dates the arrival of Adam Gase and it seems that Gase may be growing tired of his predecessors roster. Gase is undoubtedly limited in salary cap by some of the higher end salaries, notably Suh’s, Ryan Tannehill’s, and Mike Pouncey’s.
If a roster purge is coming, Ryan Tannehill could also be on the hook as well.
Tannehill will cost the Dolphins $19.8 million in cap space next year. Like Suh, his guaranteed portions of the deal are paid out for the most part. Releasing or trading Tannehill in the off-season would save the Dolphins all but around $4 million of that contract.
Tannehill however seems to be on Gase’s good side. He played very well last year under Gase’s system but his knee is and should be a concern. Keeping Tannehill would make sense for Gase’s offense which was a lot more open with Tannehill but another setback and the Dolphins are in the same bind they are in now with Cutler.
The question of whether or not Suh is in the long-term plans of the Dolphins is a tough one. La Canfora has had his up and downs in regards to inside information which he claims as his source on this latest talk surrounding Suh.
If the Dolphins do release him, it won’t be impossible to replace him. That might be a deciding factor when the decision is made.
Note: according to often reliable Andy Slater on Twitter the Dolphins are 100% denying La Canfora’s report likely making the throw it and see what sticks La Canfora likely wrong again.